Democrat & Chronicle closing printing facility means smaller newspapers have to print elsewhere

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Democrat and Chronicle announced this week they’ll be closing their printing facility at Canal Ponds Park in Greece come April. For many local newspapers that rely on that facility — this presents a problem.

The Finger Lakes Times and Times of Wayne County both print their newspapers through the Democrat and Chronicle’s facility. With the announcement of the closure, they’ll have to find somewhere else to print their papers.

This recent announcement not only affects the employees of the D&C, but it also hits businesses that rely on that facility to print their papers as well.

Ron Holdraker, Editor and Publisher of Times of Wayne County says it’s going to be tough for daily newspapers that either Gannett purchased or took over printing for in the next couple of years. The Times of Wayne County, a small family-owned newspaper with 10,000 copies per day, has been serving the community since 1984.

Holdraker says they’re just one newspaper that will have to get someone else to print and distribute their papers. He says, quote “we’ve already put out feelers to about a dozen different companies throughout New York, Pennsylvania, everywhere. And a couple of them are working up quotes and prices and delivery systems right now.”

The Finger Lakes Times is a daily newspaper serving four counties. It has been published by Gannett since 2005. According to Publisher Mike Cutillo, who’s been with the company for about 40 years, their business will feel the effects heavily. He says it’s a major disruption, and quote “we used to have a printing press here in the building, but as a lot of smaller businesses did a few years ago, we got rid of that. It just wasn’t cost effective anymore.”

As for whether or not closing the printing facility will kill newspapers – Holdraker says quote “We’ve got another decade, easy. We have a lot of digital subscribers, that’s increasing everyday, but people still like to have that newspaper in their hands and read it.”

To be clear — the D&C will continue to print newspapers. And Mike Cutillo with the Finger Lakes Times said they’ll be having a call with a representative from Gannett tomorrow to see what their options are moving forward.

Today, a Gannett spokesperson issued a statement in response to the announcement. It included the following:

“As our business becomes increasingly digital and subscription-focused, newspaper printing partnerships have become standard. We are making strategic decisions to ensure the future of local journalism and continue outstanding service to the community.” 

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